Mumia Abu-Jamal (born Wesley Cook; April 24, 1954) is a political activist and journalist who was convicted of murder and sentenced to death in 1982 for the 1981 murder of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner. After numerous appeals, his sentence was commuted in 2011 to life imprisonment without parole.
A supporter of the MOVE Organization, Abu-Jamal was also a member of the Black Panther Party until October 1970 but left the party and became a radio reporter, eventually becoming president of the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists.
Some activists and human rights groups have criticized the quality of Abu-Jamal’s trial; some have claimed that he is innocent, and many opposed his death sentence.The Faulkner family, public authorities, police organizations, and conservative groups have maintained that Abu-Jamal’s trial was fair, his guilt undeniable, and his death sentence appropriate. He was described in 2001 as “perhaps the world’s best known death-row inmate” by The New York Times. During his imprisonment Abu-Jamal has published books and commentaries on social and political issues, including Live from Death Row (1995).